Compulsory vehicle insurance scheme unveiled

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GOVERNMENT has set up  a compulsory third motor vehicle insurance 
scheme in the Road Traffic Act aimed at taking care of bodily injury
and death.

Ministry of Works, Transport, Supply and Communications Permanent
 Secretary Muyenga Atanga said the establishment of the scheme was
 meant to reduce the main challenges faced when taking care of injured 
persons in Zambia.

Dr Atanga noted that the current scheme seemed not to address all the
 post-crash needs that arose from road traffic accidents.

“The reality we face today is that the current scheme does not 
seem to address all the post-crash needs that arise from road
traffic accidents,” Dr Atanga said.

He said motorists had been inclined to view the current scheme as a
 form of tax that they were at liberty to evade rather than as  a
protection against their personal liability.

Dr Atanga said the Government was faced with the challenge of taking 
care of the victims of hit-and-run, compensation of emergency response
 service providers and related medical costs, adding that the challenges
 called for concerted efforts among all players in the road transport

“The efforts achieved by insurance companies by compensating victims
 of the road traffic accidents within the current legal framework
 deserve commendation.

“It is beyond imagination as to what extent the
 burden would have been if the insurance companies had not obliged to their 
obligation,” he said.

Dr Atanga said the Government desired to have a scheme that would 
address the needs of all road users such as one which addressed the needs of road accident victims’
 financial and medical requirements at the time of their greatest need for such.

He said the Government needed to have schemes of road accident
 compensation which would, among other things, strike a delicate balance
 between its sustainability and providing value to its intended 
beneficiaries, and a scheme with an appropriate legal and
 implementation framework.

Road Traffic and Safety Agency (RTSA) chief
 executive officer Zindaba Soko said to address the shortcomings of the
 current third party insurance cover, one of the corporate plans of RTSA 
was the creation of the road accident fund.

Mr Soko said Zambia had a history of high road traffic accident 
incidences that killed more than 1, 200 people per year and injured thousands more, representing the third largest category of deaths in the country.